Earlier this year, in an attempt to bring in new customers I created three offers: Buy One Get One Free, 50% Off and Free 0.9 oz Samples.

And they worked. Boy did they work.

Between January and June 2023 those promotions brought in 8,422 new customers.

For perspective we’ve served about 51,000 customers over the eight years we’ve been in business. So in a span of 6 months we brought in more than 16% of our entire brand database.

And this would be great news, except it nearly broke us – profit and production wise.

If you ordered in that time frame you know it was chaotic. Orders took weeks to ship out. Customer service was backed up even longer. For the first time in my life I found myself regularly having heated back and forths with angry customers.

Deep down I knew it was wrong — dead wrong — to get defensive with people who were spending money with me. But, under constant exhaustion, the martyr in me jumped out. I kept thinking “I’m shaving half the price off my products *for you* and you’re complaining??” Lol. That’s a terrible starting point for customer service!

We were rushing packages out so quickly that I didn’t notice our shipping labels were being compromised. As the cold packs inside our insulated packages melted, the condensation created moisture on the outside of the bag that was rubbing the ink off our labels. So, on top of the existing chaos, USPS was returning packages to us by the dozen, whose labels they couldn’t read. Confused customers assumed we were purposely issuing tracking numbers without actually shipping out packages. The one-star Google reviews rolled in.

In March I suffered a catastrophic limb spasm that sent me to urgent care. As I writhed in pain the nurse stared at my charts, then back at me, as though to say, “What the HELL have you been doing that this happened?!”

I remember laying in bed at night thinking, “Is this what success is supposed to feel like?? Because it feels pretty terrible…”

And it wasn’t even true success! It was doing major financial damage because small businesses like mine *cannot* play the low price/high volume game. 

Between hiring more staff to help churn out product, paying tens of thousands for the materials and packaging of the free samples, and losing money on products that went underwater, profit wise, once they hit 50% off or more, we were hemorrhaging funds.

And so, after six months of madness, I pulled the plug. 

I had no plan or strategy. I just knew the chaos had to end. On June 28, 2023, a few days after my 38th birthday, I started removing all of the money-losing promotions from our website and marketing. Free Samples, 50% Off and Buy One Get One Free were the first to go. 

Then came the individual 0.9 oz and 2.5 oz sizes, after an audit revealed there was no financially feasible way to ship them insulated without losing money. (Insulated shipping costs about $15 per package for us to do, regardless of size. There was no way on earth we were convincing anyone to pay $15 of shipping for a $7 or $19 product, so we removed individual small sizes altogether and bundled them into sample packs.)

What happened next? Well, a whole lot of silence. And the need to face some really really tough questions. (Click here to read Part 2.)

BGLH Marketplace

BGLH Marketplace

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6 Responses

  1. I was wondering what happened to the 50% off offers. I had no problem ever with shipping and have shared the product with some friends and family. My niece turned me on to the product. I love the whipped butters.
    When the 40% off cam out I stocked up. Stay the course, we need these products. Keep trusting, believing and looking up to Him who knows ALL things!

    1. Thank you Mary for sharing our products with your family and friends!! We really need that word of mouth.

  2. I absolutely LOVE your products and somehow escaped the shipping chaos. All of my orders have arrived expeditiously and the packaging has been outstanding. But…even had I experienced difficulties…I would never, ever have treated you in such a manner. We should all be grateful and offer grace to those whose small businesses operate in small margins and yet provide services/products that truly enhance our lives.

    Take care of your health and emotional well being. And I will continue to refer friends and family to BGLH Marketplace!

  3. You are such a beautiful soul, you constantly explain things to your customers , when you really don’t have too, Incase something went seriously wrong with an order. such class, conduct and integrity you have, and compassionate and intelligent you are. May God continue to Keep you that way and strong, even when you are weak, He got you. P.S. I love your butters and soap. And as much as I would love to do the subscription box, still my money won’t allow me. But what I have, last a very long time 👍🏽I will be ordering soon from you again 🙏🏽 God bless you always!

    1. Wow Sugar, thank you for such a kind comment!!! I really value my customers (wouldn’t be here without them!) so I will always try to take the time to explain things. I really appreciate that when I do, I am rarely judged harshly or treated unkindly. I don’t take that for granted. Thank you!!

      And no worries on the subscription! I know times are tough for a lot of folks.

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